Ben Walker, Support Worker, Holcroft Road

With learning Disability Care, there’s a preconception – and then you work somewhere like this.

Ben, a radiography study from the University of Salford, has been working as a Bank Support Worker at Holcroft road for the last two months. He told us what it’s like to work in the care sector for the first time.

“Before I started, when you hear the word ‘care’, you immediately think of the elderly – but that’s not the case. At Holcroft Road, we care for people of all ages, from 21 years old to people in their mid-fifties.

I didn’t realise how much I would get from it personally. Learning Disability care is humbling and rewarding, because our service users are so reliant on us – so you feel like you are having such a massive impact on their lives.

Our job is to help them lead their best lives and as normal as possible. The activities that we do here with them, I think the staff get just as much from them as the service users sometimes. Just seeing their reaction is amazing.

One of my favourite moments, was when I discovered that one of our gentlemen liked being read to. I put on an audiobook by chance, that I had on my phone, and he loved it. You always find out new things about our service users to find different ways to brighten up their day.

I’ve learned so much from my colleagues here, they are all so experienced and highly skilled. For me, it was about looking at the different ways they approach things and finding the one that was right for me. There’s always someone there to support you if you are unsure about something or if you have any issues.

Working here has changed me. And it’s broadened my experience. When I pick up my radiography again, it will help me deal with service users with a learning disability and how to treat a carer. There are so many transferable skills, from the people skills to the empathy and perseverance needed.

To anyone thinking about a new career in care, give it a go. There are so many different types of care, which I don’t think people realise. And it’s so rewarding. Particularly with Learning Disability Care, there’s a preconception, almost a fear of what it might be like – and then you work somewhere like this, alongside all these incredible people and it’s just a fantastic privilege to help all these people we are lucky enough to care for every day.”

Andrea Atkinson, Registered Manager at Holcroft Road said, “Ben has been a real asset to the team here. He is lovely to work with and it’s like he’s always been here. He’s settled in so well.”

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